Utah Rep. John Curtis cries foul over Democrats' bill to expand Bears Ears National Monument

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  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    No Names and water rocket displ;ay the prevailing misinformed view of what the Constitution says and what federal land policy for the eastrern states has been. The provision for purchasing land in the states applied only to the 13 that existed in 1788. All the other territory, west to the Mississippi was controlled by Congress under the Articles of Confedeeration and passed to federal control under the new government. These lands were then sold to private parties by the feds, with a small percentage of the proceeds going to the states when thay were formed. They were not simply returned to the states. In the LA Purchase, Oregon and Mexican Cession (Utah), the land was sold or given under the Homestead Act after 1862. Retention of large areas in the West by the feds was largely the work of (repuclican) Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot in the early 20 th century.

  • Flipphone , 00
    Feb. 1, 2019 8:46 a.m.

    The surest way to ruin a beautiful area is to advertise the area to the masses by declaiming the area a National park or monument.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 1, 2019 3:17 a.m.

    "Part of the mission of public lands is to protect sacred sites . . . "

    Burial places are sacred. But you don't declare a million acres around a graveyard to be sacred because of a grave. Where are the sacred sites and protect them selectively.

    Someone said there are 200,000 sacred sites there. Who keeps track of all those sacred places?

    Who can remember them all?

    A state legislator said an open pit mine will be built. Has it been built? and if it has, why are we making a national monument around an open pit mine. And if has not been developed, then are people just making stuff up because it sounds cool. (Kind of like Trump).

  • BigLib Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 1:03 a.m.

    Rep. Curtis should put forth a Bill to designate 1.9 Million acres of Public lands in each of the states of Arizona and New Mexico as new National Monuments. Public lands in each of those state belong to all of us and should be preserved for environmentalists.

  • jparry Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 10:07 p.m.

    Rep. Curtis's call for advance notice and dialogue is a bit hard to take given the process that rescinded the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument at the beginning of the Trump Administration. First of all, the entire Republican legislative delegation from Utah made it very clear how strongly they wanted to drastically reduce the size of the monument, and though that orginally didn't include Rep. Curtis, his subsequent efforts to nuance that reduction amounts to deck chair arranging on the Titanic.

    But second, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's "fact-finding" tour of the monument did not include any conversations with the various bodies in the state that could have explained to him why the monument needed to be what it was originally designated to be, especially the affected Native American tribes and nations. The Republicans at the state and federal level have given no one any reason to believe that further dialogue would produce any meaningful kind of compromise or resolution--they had that chance when Zinke came out to Utah. Utah's Republicans are reaping what they have sown.

  • water rocket , 00
    Jan. 31, 2019 6:51 p.m.

    The founding fathers specifically stated that government should NOT own land. It gives them too much power over the people. They were right then, and they are still right. The socialistic Democratic leaders seem to think they should be in control of all aspects of our lives. I wonder how this country ever survived this long, until these socialists started making all of our decisions for us? (That was sarcasm, in case you didn't catch it).

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 3:28 p.m.

    @Roar:
    San Juan County is the poorest county in Utah, by far.
    How many agriculture jobs are there in San Juan County? The arid climate limits the number of farms.
    Have you been to Moab lately? The number of hotel rooms in that town are booming and it's all due to tourism. I doubt any ranching and farming jobs in Moab would would fill a single hotel room in that town.
    So far I haven't seen a single legitimate claim where Bears Ears NM took away a single job in San Juan County. Yet every singe business in Boulder and Escalante have claimed that GSENM have boosted their businesses.
    Bears Ears NM is land owned by every single American. It was never County land. It was never State land. The Federal Government "won" that land from Mexico in 1848 in a war, then the Feds reimbursed Mexico for the land. It is Federal land and history proves it.
    I would love to hear some information where BENM has hurt the economy but so far that hasn't been backed up.
    Moab is booming due to the protected land in the surrounding area. It is a sustainable economy.
    From what I can tell those who oppose BENM just want to ride ATVs anywhere they want. That is the only thing I can see that angers people.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 3:16 p.m.

    What will our GOP leaders do when the Supreme Court rules Congress nor the Constitution ever gave a President the right to downsize or diminish a National Monument?

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 2:34 p.m.

    Nonames claims: "Well, Utah was placed under duress. Agree to several egregious terms, or never become a State. Remain in perpertual territorial status.

    Absolutely false, egregious terms? Like giving up polygamy? Brigham Young had been governor of the territory for years, and he had run it as a theocracy, giving church doctrines precedence in civil affairs.

    Equal footing is a red herring and nonsense. Is it fair that Utah has more private property than Rhode Island has property in the entire state? It's not fair that the states out west are huge compared to eastern state, we should make all the states the same size, you know to be fair?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 2:07 p.m.

    @mcclark: "..Utah State Constitution. ... Every bit of land that is not Fed land was given to the State of Utah."

    In reference to Trump trying to compromise with Congressional democrats on the wall, a recent headline noted that "A deal made under duress cannot be expected to be honored."

    Well, Utah was placed under duress. Agree to several egregious terms, or never become a State. Remain in perpertual territorial status.

    More importantly, the deal may very well violate Art 4, Sec 3 of the US Constitution including the "Equal Footing Doctrine". See Coyle v. Smith [221 U.S. 559 (1911), ] in which the Supreme Court ruled that if Congress mandates a unique limitation be put in a prospective state's constitution, even if the state's residents agree, the unique mandate is not enforceable.

    Surrendering title to unallocated land to the feds was a standard practice to assure clean title. East of Colorado, ever State has had most such lands returned to the State.

    In simple terms, the provisions of the Utah State Constituton giving up all land may be as invalid as the provisions defining marriage as a man and a woman.

  • Roar Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:26 p.m.

    Ernest T. Bass, your comment is false.

    Tourism money does not replace the agricultural money lost. Moving income from one source to another does not mean an increase. Also, most locals really disdain tourism, as it increases crime rate, traffic, and taxes.

    But clearly, you living in Bountiful gives so much more insight than the actual residents of San Juan.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:14 p.m.

    We are here precisely because dems (Clinton and Obama) decided to go it alone without any input from Utahns and without considering stakeholders other than the radical environmentalists. So this last move should be no surprise.

    No worries though. It won’t get past the Senate or the President.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 12:48 p.m.

    Several people commenting here ought to look at the Utah State Constitution. It states very clearly that we will not ask for anymore land than what the Federal Government GAVE Utah when we became a state. Every bit of land that is not Fed land was given to the State of Utah.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 9:50 a.m.

    "80% of Nevada land & 2/3's of Utah land, and high percentages of other Western US states' land are owned (and hence controlled) by the national government.

    This isn't right. In fact, it is very wrong."

    Then put together a movement to BUY the lands from the Federal Government... IF the Feds are interested in selling!

    I thought you conservative, free market types understood basic principles of fair trade:

    1) you don't get something for nothing; there is no "free lunch"!

    2) you can't force an owner to sell if they don't want to!

    What? Are you advocating socialism here? Gasp!

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    I'm starting a coal mine down there and probably a coal fired power plant. Great job to Congressman Curtis. Keep it up.

  • eldonp Parowan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    One wonders if the Utah GOP will show up when Pres. Harris comes to Salt Lake City for three hours in February, 2021, to declare the new and improved 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument. That's fair play, surely.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    @Diligent Dave "This makes us colonies & colonists, not full US states & citizens."

    This is baloney!

    There I fixed the order of your uniformed opinion.

    Utefan, I wish I could give your comment a 100 likes, it is the only accurate statement, not filled with radio rhetoric and pure "Baloney."

    Utah is unfit to manage the federal lands within our state. The state of Utah has sold off fully half of it's School Trust lands for one time cash outs, those lands were suppose to continue to earn Utah schools money.

    By the way, the State of Utah was traded land and given money to compensate for Grand Staircase Escalante, when will they be returning those things since the GOP with Trump reneged on the deal?

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:57 a.m.

    "Give it back to the people of those states, or, we should take it back."

    It was never yours in the first place. Why do you find that so hard to understand?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    If Arizona and New Mexico reps want new National Monuments/Parks in their state, then more power to them. But let them do it for their own states, not Utah.

    The House may pass it but it will die an ignominious death in the Senate. As it should.

    And if it passed both houses by some quirk of fate, then Trump would veto it and they wouldn't get enough votes to override the veto.

    What Obama did was unreasonable. What Trump did was reasonable. Keep it at that.

    I've been all through that area, and frankly, there is nothing that sets it apart from any other area in South Eastern Utah. There are a few sites in the area that would bear some type of protection, but not to the level of National Monument.

    It would impact Utah Trust Lands that are used for schools. Utah always gets hosed on these transactions and the supposed land swaps are never as good as the land tied up in the monument designations.

    Let Arizona and New Mexico do what is good for them. They can leave Utah alone.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    Go and try to establish 10% Federal government ownership of land in any state of the United States, or even just 5%.

    80% of Nevada land & 2/3's of Utah land, and high percentages of other Western US states' land are owned (and hence controlled) by the national government.

    This isn't right. In fact, it is very wrong.

    But, here, we are suppose to lie down while the citizens of the rest of the US take (us) standing!

    This is baloney!

    This makes us colonies & colonists, not full US states & citizens.

    We live in the 21st century. But, really, we live in the 19th century, where geographically huge states like Utah, are largely owned by 'all' the people of the US.

    Buy some land. Build a house. Now, let the US government own & control large swathes of what you supposedly own.

    That's what Uncle Sam did to Western US states. And Nevada, Utah & Alaska got the shortest end of their "states". But the US government owns too doggone much of most Western US states.

    Give it back to the people of those states, or, we should take it back. There is no good reason for politicians & bureaucrats, many in DC, to control it in perpetuity. None at all!

    What's good for Utah is good for all the US!

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:24 a.m.

    The extraction industries are against the monuments, and they're big GOP "campaign donors."
    That should settle it.

  • photobeauty Blanding, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    The attempt to make the Bears Ears a huge National Monument, if successful, will do two things:1: ruin any chance for natural resources in the county to be used to raise money for public education. Over 50% of those students are Native Americans who need good educational opportunities 2: the increased visitation will result in further damage to the cultural sites in the monument that are already "protected" by Wilderness Study areas and BLM and Forest Service rules and regulations.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    "Curtis floated a proposal in a House Natural Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday requiring seven days public notice before the panel could act on a bill impacting federal lands unless it is sponsored or co-sponsored by a House member who represents that area."

    What a hypocrite! Curtis would not have allowed Dems to do that when Republicans wanted...anything!

    Republicans try to sneak their bills through at the last minute, without notice of discussion. The legislature is in session. Watch what they do in the last 2-3 days of the session.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 7:52 a.m.

    Have the Dems lost their minds? Passing infanticide legislation in NY and now trying to create a super monument in the already hotly debated Bears Ears. Please Ben McAdams, bring some sanity back to the party.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 7:15 a.m.

    What is he worried about. This bill never pass.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 6:51 a.m.

    "Curtis floated a proposal in a House Natural Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday requiring seven days public notice before the panel could act on a bill impacting federal lands unless it is sponsored or co-sponsored by a House member who represents that area."

    I wonder if this kind of thinking could be applied to a proposal for a giant wall.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    Jan. 31, 2019 6:43 a.m.

    DN Subscriber - Cottonwood Heights, UT, said : "There is no trusting any Democrat in congress now."

    What a hypocritical statement from a supporter of a party that violated the will of the people, the local tribes, and illegally reduced the size of Bears Ears.

    President Obama was working for several years with Rep. Bishop who never got any plan ready. He didn't do his job. Contrary to the GOP's reduction, President Obama tried to work with the do nothing GOP, for several years. Again Bishop did nothing. And that was very well reported in this paper and in all papers nationwide.

    So when Trump marched in here and with his side show of GOP supporters and undid the will of the Tribes and the vast majority of all Americans, it was clearly an act of GOP dishonesty.

    Facts matter. President Obama did try to work with the Utah delagation for years. Trump , Hatch and the other GOP pawns did not do the same.

    My suggestion to the Trump supporters is to read Utah's Constitution. Educate with real facts.

  • hoch ,
    Jan. 31, 2019 6:27 a.m.

    I am 100% behind preserving Utah’s unique and beautiful landscape. Nothing like it in the world.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 5:22 a.m.

    To truly preserve Utah (& Western states), let's just pass a bill to seed the entire Western US with dill seeds. Oh jeez, please!

    This attempt to hijack more public land in Utah into an even more restricted land area is all the more reason why Utah should have it's land turned over from the US government to the State of Utah; and also, ranchers who have leased certain areas in the state for more than 'whatever' # of years, should have 1st dibs to basically homestead the land, but in a way different from how the homestead act 1st worked - for pasturing, rather than a cropping basis.

    C'mon, Uncle Sam, finally do the right thing, & give Utahns their land. With 2/3 of our state land owned, & hence controlled by the US govt, we need it (finally) to be deeded, without further ado, to the State of Utah, & to appropriate families who have worked & improved certain agricultural lands over decades of time!

    Quit keeping & treating Utah & Utahns as virtual perpetual colonies & colonists!

    But, I'm afraid we will have to take it, since they won't willingly deed it to us.

    Quit treading on our rights as Americans & Utahns, you politicians, bureaucrats & outsiders!!!

  • Utah_Happyman Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:29 a.m.

    BENM belongs to the people, not just San Juan County. Recreation is sustainable.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 11:04 p.m.

    Democrats: "It's everybody's land, we all manage it together"

    Utah: "So, can we be involved in this process too?"

    Democrats: "No"

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 10:58 p.m.

    There is no trusting any Democrat in congress now.

    The Republicans when in majority at least tried to play fair, and were rebuffed by the Democrats. Now the Democrats are just doing as they please without even pretending to play fairly.

    Good on my representative for standing up and calling them out on this disgusting behavior.

  • Utahhikerdad TOOELE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 10:21 p.m.

    Rep. Curtis needs to remember that federal lands in his district do not belong to Utah, his district, or San Juan county. They belong to all Americans, who, during an extensive comment and hearing period, indicated overwhelming support for a national monument of the size originally requested by the Tribes. Trump illegally shrank America's monuments, ignoring the will of the people in favor of behind the scenes, furtive influence from extractive industries. This bill will restore what should have been all along: a fully protected, appropriately sized area comanaged by Native Americans, who, for too long, have been suppressed and ignored.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 10:15 p.m.

    Locals in Arizona were angry when the Grand Canyon became a monument.
    Locals in Springdale were angry when Zion became a monument.
    Moab and Springdale are packed with people and businesses are making a lot of money.
    Is Blanding and Monticello really opposed to jobs and tourist's money?
    Every single business owner in Boulder and Escalante claim GSENM was a boost to the economy.
    How on earth can anyone claim a monument hurts the local economy? There hasn't been a single instance when a National Monument hurt the local economy. Every single monument brings money and jobs. Every one.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 10:00 p.m.

    That's the Democrats for you. No surprise they can be so two-faced with Mr. Curtis since Clinton and Obama started the whole mess and even did so from another State. We need a State's Rights Revolution in this country...!!

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 9:52 p.m.

    Your'e in the minority now, get used to getting treated the way you treated Democrats when they were in the minority

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2019 9:39 p.m.

    Good Job John. Keep an eye on these people.